Every time I see a truly terrible Hollywood production, I always think of the pitch meeting that led to the millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours wasted on complete crap. This is what I imagine:
An American Love Story
Pitch Man: You are not going to believe who’s agreed to have their lives filmed for what I believe will be the greatest reality show of all time.
Hollywood Executive: Who?
Pitch Man: America’s sweetheart and America’s roughest, toughest bad boy.
Hollywood Executive: Oh my God…… You don’t mean…
Pitch Man: Yep.
Hollywood Executive: Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg?!?!
Pitch Man: You know it.
Hollywood Executive: How the hell were you able to pull that off? Those two are so hot right now.
Pitch Man: It wasn’t easy, but luckily Jenny was fired from The View and Donnie can squeeze this in with that other reality show he does. You know, the one where he rides his brother’s coattails? We just need to make sure the camera crews don’t bump into each other.
Hollywood Executive: Epic. Man, I love Jenny McCarthy. What a great health advocate. She’s like Mother Teresa, but with perfect tits and an e-cigarette addiction.
Pitch Man: I know. My son is dying to meet her. I told him he could after his measles clear up.
Hollywood Executive: So what have you captured so far?
Pitch Man: The best television you’ll ever see. I’m telling you, it’s some of the easiest work we’ve ever done. They’re naturals. There’s this one episode where they unpack and talk while unpacking. And there’s another episode where they talk about children and shit. It’s awesome. Jenny has a real talent for jumping up and down and talking about how much she loves everybody when the conversations slow down every other minute. It’s effortless.
Hollywood Executive: Love it! Americans will be DVRing this thing every week. I can’t wait for the cameos by Mark Wahlberg and Melissa McCarthy.
Pitch Man: Oh no. They won’t have anything to do with this show. Donnie Loves Jenny will only feature unknown relatives who have no charisma.
Hollywood Executive: What about that son of hers. The one with autism? I know Jenny is super protective of that kid. How are you filming around that?
Pitch Man: Oh please, we can stick a camera up that kid’s ass as far as she’s concerned. We’ve been granted full access.
Hollywood Executive: Excellent. Let’s make this happen.
Pitch Man: We’ve got an amazing zombie movie in the works.
Hollywood Executive: Fuck yeah!!! I love zombies!
Pitch Man: We booked Schwarzenegger for the lead.
Hollywood Executive: Oh my God, yes!!!!! I am all in. I can just picture it – explosions, zombie limbs being blasted apart, Arnold knocking down hundreds Zombies with a flame thrower and saying some awesome tag line.
Pitch Man: Woah!!!!! Simmer down there, chief. We’re taking a new approach.
Hollywood Executive: A new approach?
Pitch Man: Yeah. People are tired of watching zombies get killed. It’s like that Walking Dead show. The audience gets bored with all that violence. They just wanna see the emotional conversations.
Hollywood Executive: You know, I’ve never thought of it that way, but you’re right.
Pitch Man: So here’s the new angle. What if we treat becoming a zombie the same way as someone dying of cancer? The story will be deeply personal and meaningful. Arnold Schwarzenegger finds out his daughter contracted the zombie disease and he watches her slowly become a zombie. Throughout the whole movie he grapples with the decision over whether or not to kill her.
Hollywood Executive: Damn, that’s deep. Who’s gonna play the daughter?
Pitch Man: We got Abigail Breslin from Zombieland. She’s tired of being in good zombie movies and wants to go in a whole new direction. We’re all very excited about this.
Hollywood Executive: What city are you gonna film this in?
Pitch Man: No city. The story takes place in bum fuck nowhere. We don’t want any gratuitous violence or panic. Picture it: Sweeping shots of fields. Teenagers weeping at sunsets. Piano music. Empty swing sets as a metaphor for lost youth.
Hollywood Executive: Wow. That sounds incredibly important. This may finally win Schwarzenegger an Oscar.
Pitch Man: No doubt. He can totally get his eyes to well up. We’ve been trying to get an actual tear to happen, but he’s so manly that his eyes just suck the tears back up.
Hollywood Executive: That’s beautiful, man. Let’s make this happen.
Pitch Man: So I got this friend in England who’s whining to me about his shitty love life. After giving it some thought, I figured out a genius way to solve his problems and make you millions.
Hollywood Executive: I’m listening…
Pitch Man: We dress this guy up like Prince Harry and make women compete for his love like we did with Joe Millionaire.
Hollywood Executive: Does this guy look like Prince Harry?
Pitch Man: Not really, but he’s a ginger, and he speaks with an authentic British accent.
Hollywood Executive: How do you propose we pull this off? I don’t think they’ll let us film this in Buckingham Palace.
Pitch Man: We can film the whole thing at Englefield Estate. It’s a really classy joint with a lot of history.
Hollywood Executive: Sounds stuffy. How do we get the girls naked?
Pitch Man: We can install a shitty hot tub in one of the garden areas and change up some of the interiors to skank things up. We can also put the girls in bikinis and have them square off in a beauty pageant.
Hollywood Executive: Hmmmm…. What about your friend. Is he likeable?
Pitch Man: Oh yeah, very approachable. I think audiences will relate to him because he’s really dull and broke. In fact, he has to borrow his friend’s bike to get to work every day. But he really wants to find a woman who loves him for just being himself, you know?
Hollywood Executive: Wow. He sounds like a great and honorable man. The kind of soulless, stuffy ginger audiences will root for.
Pitch Man: He is. And to help him find his true love, I’m gonna round up the dumbest gold-digging whores I can find. I already lined up a few chicks who failed their auditions for The Bachelor, but they still might be a little too smart.
Hollywood Executive: You’ll need to dig deeper than that. A true gold digger will at least know what the royal princes look like, and that there would be no way in hell the Queen of England would ever allow her grandson to marry an American woman who made such a spectacle on national television.
Pitch Man: My next move is to see who they won’t let on Jersey Shore. After that, I’ll work my way through the pageant circuit, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll visit some brain trauma centers.
Hollywood Executive: Good plan. Just make sure they pass the bikini test. I don’t want any uglies or fatties.
Pitch Man: What about their personalities?
Both men stare at each other for a moment and then burst out in laughter, unable to keep their faces straight.
Pitch Man: Just kidding. We’ll keep the liquor cabinets fully stocked. The important thing is that we connect my friend Matt to his soul mate.
And this is a big win for you too. It’s a no-fail premise that we can recycle year after year. Maybe next year we’ll have a guy who sort of looks like Leonardo DiCaprio or maybe get a frat boy to pretend he’s a Saudi prince. People love it when gold diggers get taken down a notch.
Hollywood Executive: Oh, yes. This is WAY better than that show you pitched last year about tricking guys into dating ugly girls. That shit was depressing.
Pitch Man: We wanna call this thing “I Wanna Marry Harry.” Whatdya say?
Hollywood Executive: I’m in. Let’s make this happen.